The future of Africa is getting brighter with every passing year. This is because of the relentless contributions by budding enterprises in both profit and non-profit entrepreneurship. The African Diaspora Network has singled out and rewarded 10 early-age entrepreneurs in Africa. These are the ones that are building the future of the continent through technology. Through The Builders of Africa’s Future (BAF) Award, the organization has recognized the contributions of African innovators who are leading the continent in its tech and differentiated business development landscapes.
Africa is a continent with myriad and unique needs that require innovative solutions. The BAF initiative and Awards which is currently its second year, recognizes, celebrates and wards early-stage innovations in Africa. It gives recognition and awards 10 entrepreneurs from all regions in the continent. These regions are East, Central, West, North and South Africa in order to balance initiatives in building the future of Africa.
Enterprises Building Future of Africa
The BAF looks at areas of concern where African innovators are coming up with unique solutions. These areas include education, health, commerce, energy, gender inclusion financial inclusion, industrial development, nutrition among other areas that provide socioeconomic benefits. This year, the following innovative African enterprises impressed BAF and hence subsequently awarded the Impact and Innovation Award for building the future of Africa;
- AkiraChix. (Kenya) Linda Kamau is the MD and co-founder of AkiraChix that provides hands-on technical teaching and mentorship to young girls, women and children. This is in order to increase the number of skillful women in tech and impact the community positively.
- Asante Mama Brand – Sunshine Agro Products (Uganda). Pamela Anyoti Peronaci is the founding associate of Sunshine Agro Products and Owner and CEO of Asante Mama brand.
- Enda Athletic (Kenya). Navalayo Osembo-Ombati is the founder of Enda Athletic, a business that is bringing Kenyan athletic prominence to runners around the globe by producing the first made-in-Kenya running shoes that champion the spirit of running from the abode of running champions.
- Fundibots (Uganda). Solomon King is the founder FundiBots, a non-profit in education with an objective of accelerating science learning in Africa.
- J-Palm Liberia. (Liberia) Mahmud Johnson is the founder and CEO of J-Palm Liberia (JPL), a company that produces organic health and beauty products out of formerly wasted palm kernels.
Others in the future of Africa list include the following;
- Moringaconnect (Ghana). Kwami Williams is the co-founder of MoringaConnect, a vertically incorporated supply chain aimed at improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. He is also a NASA rocket scientist and now a future for Africa.
- Shule Direct (Tanzania). Faraja Nyalandu is the founder of Shule Direct, a successful organization that provides inclusive web and mobile educational platforms in order to offer educational content across multiple subjects to over a million youth in and out of school.
- Unreasonable East Africa (Uganda). Joachim Ewechu is the founder of SHONA Group, a company that is transforming economies in East Africa by growing East African good quality businesses.
- WeMove (Nigeria). Celestine Ezeokoye is the founder/CEO of this enterprise that is focused on building inventive technology solutions for transportation in Africa.
- Women in Tech Uganda. Barbara Birungi Mutabazi is the founder/director of Women in Technology Uganda, an organization bringing together women in order to foster technology.
Winners in Building African Future
The founders and leaders of the above enterprises are the builders of Africa’s future according to BAF. This is because they “represent the stories we want the community to learn about developmental progress on the continent [Africa]”.
The winners received the Impact and Innovation Award during the just concluded African Diaspora Investment Symposium that ended on January 26. This electrifying event was at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Silicon Valley in United States. The event convened entrepreneurs, innovators, leaders, investors, and friends of Africa, with a common goal of promoting the future of Africa.
To be eligible for the award, an enterprise needs to be an established legal entity. It also must have demonstrable traction in the market and not in the pitch or prototype stages. Additionally, the enterprise must have a website, tangible physical or digital product spanning more than six months. Most importantly, the future of Africa business “cannot be a clone of a western technology or business solution without differentiation”